REXANO Editorial by Zuzana Kukol, www.rexano.org

Las Vegas, NV, August 24, 2007—With elections, family holidays and spirit of giving season approaching, we can expect lots of solicitations from various politicians and charities. One of them will be ‘The Humane Society of the United States”, HSUS.

HSUS is an animal rights (AR) group that many confuse with local ‘Humane society’ shelters; however, Humane Society of United States is not affiliated with any of them. They are a powerful well funded AR group, who instead of helping shelters and animals directly, works hard on eventually removing pets from our homes, meat from our tables, leather goods from our closets and animals from zoos and circuses. Not only doesn’t HSUS help struggling shelters, they charge them between $4,000 and $20,000 consulting fee. What is especially disconcerting that HSUS, a group many expect to care about animal welfare is making money selling animal euthanasia manuals.

HSUS and Animal Liberation Front Connection 

One of HSUS’s supposed  ‘subject experts’ on animal cruelty  is John Paul “JP” Goodwin,  better known for his ties to the Animal Liberation Front, ALF, which FBI considers to be a terrorist group.

 (http://www.furcommission.com/news/newsF03i.htm) 

In his February 12, 2002 Congressional Testimony James F. Jarboe, Domestic Terrorism Section Chief, Counterterrorism Division, FBI, said: “During the past several years, special interest extremism, as characterized by the Animal Liberation Front (ALF) and the Earth Liberation Front (ELF), has emerged as a serious terrorist threat.”

(http://www.fbi.gov/congress/congress02/jarboe021202.htm)

When Bernard Unti, senior policy advisor and special assistant to the president of HSUS, was asked by animal owners to explain Goodwin’s appointment to the HSUS ‘expert panel’, he replied: “I am sure that some of you would prefer to cast him forever in a negative light but it doesn’t work, as his turnaround reflects the success of the conventional approaches to advancing social change. We want to persuade those who used errant tactics in the past to adopt better and legal approaches. You too should celebrate this instead of forever harping on a youthful enthusiasm that was taking someone in the wrong direction.”

(http://www.bloggernews.net/19114)

Well, does that mean that if a child care owner hires a pedophile to watch the kids and parents complain, the child care’s answer should be not to worry, since the pedophile did it as a part of his ‘youthful sexual experimentation to find his true identity’?

Hurricane Katrina Donations


To the general public, HSUS gained a nationwide attention with their questionable tactics of raising money from pet lovers for the animals displaced during hurricane Katrina; the Louisiana Attorney General is looking into what really happened with 32 million HSUS raised.

( http://www.thekittyliberationfront.org/News-HSUS.htm)

However, this is not the first time HSUS used questionable tactics to get donations from donors who intended to help living breathing animals, only to use the donations to push for ‘feel good’  legislation that did absolutely nothing for the animals, or worse, in the long run, not to mention wasting tax payers’ money and Congressional time and resources.

Internet Hunting 

A great example of HSUS’s questionable tactics of soliciting donations for non existent problems is to ban so called Internet hunting on federal and state levels. On their website, HSUS claims:

“We estimate that there are more than 3,000 canned hunting operations in at least 25 states nationwide, and by having the ability to use the Internet as a way of promoting this type of hunting, the numbers might even grow. Lawmakers are listening and are beginning to answer our call to action.”

However, as reported in August 10, 2007 Wall Street journal article “Internet Hunting Has Got to Stop — If It Ever Starts”

(http://online.wsj.com/public/article/SB118668766176893323-pZmjLU7DbTO12lzVq34vSLqKUbE_20070908.html?mod=tff_main_tff_top)

“…nobody actually hunts animals over the Internet. Although the concept — first broached publicly by a Texas entrepreneur in 2004 — is technically feasible, it hasn’t caught on………… With no Internet hunters to defend the sport, the Humane Society’s lobbying campaign has been hugely successful…. Even the National Rifle Association endorses the ban. “It’s pretty easy to outlaw something that doesn’t exist,” says Rod Harder, a lobbyist for the NRA in Oregon who supported an Internet-hunting ban that took effect in June. “We were happy to do it.”….

Dog and Cat Protection Act of 2000 

In 2000, HSUS was behind another ‘feel good” bill that is now a law, ‘Dog and Cat Protection Act of 2000’, which prohibits imports or exports of dog or cat fur containing products into or out of the United States.

According to U.S. Customs and Border protection:

“The Act is a result of an 18-month undercover investigation by the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) that exposed the widespread brutal slaughter of more than two million domestic dogs and cats each year by Chinese and other Asian manufacturers. The fur of these dogs and cats is commonly used in the manufacture of products such as fur coats, fur-trimmed gloves, hats, and figurines, which are then sold in the United States and around the world.”

(http://www.cbp.gov/xp/cgov/import/commercial_enforcement/dog_cat_protection.xml)

Even though HSUS solicited money for the cause in the name of protecting domestic dogs and cats, the fur mostly used is a raccoon dog, which is not a domestic dog. It is a wild animal, a member of the canid family (which includes dogs, wolves, and foxes). Since fur imported as coat trim is heavily chemically processed, there was no sure way in 2000 to even test if the fur was really dog or a wild animal.

Dog and Cat Fur Prohibition Enforcement Act of 2007 

Seems like banning dog and cat fur imports is not good enough, since HSUS is now pushing for another federal bill, “Dog and Cat Fur Prohibition Enforcement Act of 2007”, which would add raccoon dog as prohibited fur import.

HSUS claims this act will:

“Protect consumers and animals by stopping the sale of fur from raccoon dogs—a member of the dog family sometimes skinned alive in China—and requiring all fur garments to be labeled. Recent HSUS tests showed that animal fur is frequently mislabeled or marked as faux fur.”

(https://community.hsus.org/campaign/FED_2007_fur_labeling?qp_source=gac4ly)

There is still not sure easy and fast way to test and distinguish chemically processed and dyed domestic dog and raccoon dog fur. So once again, this is just another excuse for HSU$ to introduce feel good useless legislation which will accomplish nothing for the animals in China, but will bring donations to HSUS because it seems like on the surface that they are ‘saving dogs’ and that they care.

Regardless of whether you support or hate wearing fur, how will this bill protect the animals in China? Eating dogs is part of Chinese culture, whether we Americans like it or not. This bill didn’t reduce the demand on dog meat there or improve animal welfare conditions in Asia.

Chinese are not a wasteful nation, and rather then waste the animal fur after eating the meat, they decided to put the whole animal to use. Banning dog and cat fur imports to USA didn’t not change the Chinese food preferences or their culture, the dogs will still be killed and eaten like they were before, but their fur will go to waste. Instead, Chinese might end up killing more animals which they will not eat, but whose fur is still legal to export, thus, more animals might end up being killed because of this ‘feel good” bill, which brought lots of donation to HSUS from animal lovers who assumed they were saving Chinese dogs from torture. It also wasted taxpayers’ money and Congressional resources, but did nothing for the Chinese animals themselves.

HSUS claims their tests in 2007 showed that Nordstrom stores’ coats had real dog fur on them:

http://www.hsus.org/web-files/PDF/Fur-Test-Results-Public-Factsheet-25-results-FINAL.pdf

However, according to Consumer Smarts, the fur was legal and not a dog:

http://consumersmarts.ivillage.com/home/2007/03/faux_real_or_dog_fur.html

“Nordstrom had a third party test the vest using the worldwide standard protocol for fiber analysis-the American Association of Textile Chemist and Colorist (AATCC) 20A for Microscopic Fiber/Fur Identification-and it tested as coyote.”

Exotic Animals and Public Safety 

This country also had lots of ‘animal rights’ legislation introduced to ban private ownership of exotic and wild animals in the name of public safety.

However, in the USA, only one person dies per year as a result of an attack by captive big cat, 1.5 by captive reptile, 0.81 by captive elephant, 0.125 by captive bear and 0 by captive non-human primate. Majority of the deaths happened to the owners and trainers themselves, which is an occupation hazard they voluntarily accept.

In 2003, HSUS’s ‘Captive Wildlife Safety Act’, CWSA, was introduced and was since signed into a law.

(http://www.fws.gov/laws/Testimony/108th/2003/Hogancaptivewildlife.htm)

It prohibits non commercial owners of exotic cats taking their bellowed pet with them across the state lines.

 (http://www.bloggernews.net/19472)

According to US Fish and Wildlife Service , the agency responsible for implementing this HSUS proposed legislation:

“We recognize that a number of incidents involving big cat escapes and/or human injuries have been reported since December 2003. However, to our knowledge, many (if not most) of these incidents have involved owners who would be exempt under the CWSA and were not caused by, or related to, an act that would be prohibited under this law.”

(http://www.fws.gov/home/feature/2005/CaptiveQA.pdf)

A bill currently in Congress would add non human primates to the list of prohibited species.)

http://www.bloggernews.net/19046)

HSUS’s final goal is banning private ownership of all exotics.

And while they happily promoted and took donations for their “ Pets Evacuation and Transportation Standards (PETS) Act”, they  kept pushing for bills that would ban people from taking their exotic pet with them across the state line, regardless of the reason (move, trip to the veterinarian, evacuation in the case of emergency).

Seems like if your pet is exotic, you might have to make a choice in the case of a natural disaster: break a law supported by HSUS, or leave your exotic pet behind.

Doesn’t seem like this bill is helping animals either, if anything, it will cause more animals to be homeless if pet owners can’t legally keep and move them to another exotic friendly state. Can you imagine the impact on domestic shelters if the Congress banned people from taking their domestic pets with them when moving across the state lines?

Treating domestic animals differently than exotics is a form of discrimination and ‘animal racism’ and shouldn’t be tolerated.

Horse Slaughter Prohibition Bill 

The latest HSUS ‘pet project” is ‘Horse Slaughter Prohibition bill’ to “prohibit the shipping, transporting, moving, delivering, receiving, possessing, purchasing, selling, or donation of horses and other equines to be slaughtered for human consumption, and for other purposes”. Just like the fur prohibition act, it does absolutely nothing to save horses and will in fact cause more animals to end up slaughtered.

US horse owners until now had a choice what to do with old horses: kill them themselves, pay a veterinarian to do it, or sell/donate them to a slaughter house. However, it can cost $100 to euthanize a horse; disposal is up the the owner. Cremation can easily cost about $1,200, while landfills can charge over $20 per ton, not including the transportation to the landfill.

http://www.paysonroundup.com/section/localnews/story/30238

There is no market for human horse consumption in USA, all the market is overseas, and the only users of horse meat in USA were zoos and other carnivore owners. Horse is a healthy lean meat for captive carnivores, such as big cats or birds of prey.  Since majority of horse slaughter houses was horse meat for overseas human consumption, the horse act caused them to close. This act will not save any horses, as the horses used to go to slaughter house will still have to be euthanized, they were sent to a slaughter house because it was their ’time to go’ in the fist place.

This act did NOT reduce the demand for horse meat; it just shifted the supply side to Canada or Mexico horse processing plants that are more than happy to supply horse meat to Europeans or US zoo markets. Since demand stayed the same and US horses’ meat will go to waste, this act will increase the number of slaughtered horses in Canada or Mexico. The end result will be more horses ending up slaughtered than if the Horse act was never introduced in the first place.

America, the Land of the Free?

Even people who don’t own animals should realize that every time a new law is passed, the government powers and bureaucracy grow and our personal freedoms shrink. Many animal rights activists sensationalize exotic animal attacks and are presenting exotic animal ownership as a public safety issue to scare the public, but there are no facts to back it up. This fraud and fear mongering has to stop. The wild habitat of many animals is disappearing, and the only way to save them form extinction is captive breeding, with private individuals having the majority of captive habitat. Our legislators are sentencing wild and exotic animals to extinction by passing exotic animals bans.

Our Congress needs to stop listening to animal rights groups and wasting nation’s resources and tax payers’ money on feel good legislation. Our country is at war fighting International terrorism shedding our soldiers’ blood trying to bring freedoms to others, while our own government at home is removing freedoms of its own citizens. It is time to stop this insanity, time for legislators to do the right thing, no more HSUS bills.

Making a Real Difference 

If HSUS really wants to help animals, they need to go back to their roots 50 years ago, help animals in shelters, which is what many donors expect them to do when sending a check. HSUS should put a self imposed 10 year moratorium on lobbying and legislation. They should, instead, financially help struggling shelters, finance adoption drives which would increase the number of animals adopted since many people don’t like going to sterile shelters or look in the eyes of death row animals they can not take home.

Rather than push for harmful mandatory early spay and neuter laws, HSUS could set up clinics offering voluntary low cost spay and neuter. Most people are not against spaying or neutering, what majority are opposing is ‘mandatory and ‘early” castration and hysterectomy.

This country doesn’t have online hunting or exotic animal problem, the animals in real need now are domestics in shelters and rescue centers, and if HSUS finally helps them directly, they can make a difference in the lives of real living and breathing animals that need their help RIGHT NOW.
 

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